March 12, 2021

Suggested Reading: Proverbs 18:24

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.—I Corinthians 1:2

At some point in your Bible reading and study you may come across the word “Paraklesis.” That is a Greek word for comforter or encourager, and means “calling to one’s side, to exhort, to encourage.” That is what God sends the Holy Spirit to accomplish in our lives. That’s what Solomon meant when he wrote Proverb 18:24. He knew from experience that’s the character and nature of the Lord. The Holy Spirit comes alongside us, encourages us, helps and supports us. He works with us and enables us. The Holy Spirit is faithful to fulfill the purposes of God in our lives. He is like the geese we have seen flying in V-formation. We may think their squawking is just a lot of noise but in fact it is their way of encouraging the leader and the flock to keep going, keep flapping those wings, keep meeting those head winds full on. The more turbulent the winds or weather the heartier and more persistent their squawking becomes.

The Holy Spirit does not squawk at us, but he does speak to us, he does become our cheerleader, he does encourage us to keep going, keep moving, keep persevering, keep pressing, keep the faith, keep holding on, keep hoping, keep trusting the Lord, keep looking to Christ, keep reading our Bible, keep praying and praising, keep thanking God, keep moving forward, forgiving, and loving. He is the most excellent, awesome, and persistent encourager we can have.  

When we look at his nature we may be thinking the Holy Spirit is a lot like us but in truth, we are like him because he is the one who teaches us the ways of God. Paul writes that we are called, sanctified through Christ to become like the Holy Spirit in this regard, called to community, called to exhort, and encourage one another. Because we have learned well from the Spirit, when a friend needs encouraging it is our instinct to encourage them; to stay by their side, so we take on the role of an encourager with them. And we are especially like the Holy Spirit when we learn we are not to try and force change—in fact, we cannot make others change, only God can bring about inner change in people—but we can intercede for them, we can remind them what they know and possess and encourage them to know and possess the one we know, we can comfort them and help them in the ways that are within our scope and power.

What beautiful realization and fulfillment of this higher call God gives us through Christ Jesus. Called by Jesus, sanctified and empowered through the Spirit, you are a holy, beautiful vessel of love and encouragement in the lives of others. Let’s Pray,

Dear God, we could not have imagined or hoped for a more beautiful role in the earthly Church than to be chosen by the Savior and called into the ministry of encouraging others. May we fulfill our role gladly and do not faint or lose focus but remain strong and steadfast so that those in every place will come to know more and more your wonderful Son, our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ in whose name we pray. Amen                

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